We’ve been mainly skiing in Europe for our holidays, so this year we thought it was about time we treated ourselves with a ski holiday to Japan for the first time. Hakuba was always one region that people kept recommending to us, after doing a bit of research I can understand why – it looks fantastic.
I must confess that I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to planning my trips, every evening I’ll sit there looking through anything I can get my hands on to find out all the right info. I have found out in-depth the best ways for people to get to Hakuba so that the real fun can begin. After so much work I just had to share it so that it will help any other first timers heading that way soon.
Here are my top tips for getting to Hakuba:
You can pretty much reach Hakuba from any part of the country, most people choose to the Tokyo to Hakuba route which is what we will be doing too. Here are the options you have if you choose to go through Tokyo; The bullet train, the express train or the bus.
Bullet Train (Tokyo to Hakuba)
Is a holiday in Japan really complete if you haven’t been on a bullet train, I think if you’re in the country you definitely need to have the experience. You won’t be able to take the train all the way to Hakuba, you will hop of in Nagano where an express bus will take you the rest of the way – you can get off at Hakuba Station or at your resort. It’s the quickest and I think most interesting way to get there.
Express Train (Tokyo to Hakuba)
This is a top option for people holiday a Japan Rail Pass. I like the sound of this route because it’s more adventurous whilst also being pretty quick too, it’ll take around 4 1/2 hours in total. There’s no need for a bus on this route because you’ll be doing it via two trains. Firstly you start at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, get off at Matsumoto and hop on a local train which will take you all the way to Hakuba Station.
BUS (Narita to Hakuba)
If you are arriving late in the day then the bus will the only option available to you – it’s pretty much stress free too. If you’re traveling through the winter months then you can book your bus ticket online. They also have a sales counter in Narita airport, terminal 2, and they’ll be able to sort out a ticket if for any reason you haven’t pre-booked. I highly advise you to book in advance because during the high season the seats go quick, you don’t want to have to get an airport hotel for the night. The buses are very comfortable so even if you come off a long flight you’ll be able to sleep. When you arrive in to Hakuba, there will be buses waiting to take you on to your hotel. It’ll take around 6 hours in total.
Have any of you lucky people been there? Please do share any must do things below in the comment section, it would be good to discover some hidden gems. Thanks for sharing!